A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 39 and 40: Yas, Mortal Queens

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Anyway, now for the other bad book.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 39

Filler.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 40

Sigh, ok, fine. I’ll recap it, but I won’t like it.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 39

This chapter kicks off with Feyre chillin’ with Amren at Amren’s apartment, which makes so little sense for the two of them to be doing that Amren has to call attention to it.

“I somehow like this apartment by the river the best.” She frowned at the skylights that dotted the ceiling. “It also means I never have to host parties or guests. Both of which I abhor.”
I chuckled. “Then I’ll keep my visit short.”
She let out an amused huff, crossing her legs beneath her. “Why are you here?”

Seriously, this chapter is so badly written that Feyre’s visit of plot convenience begins in media res, contains a flashback to a whole conversation Feyre had last night with Rhysand via not-text message about his tattoos, and then explains why the first contrived scene is even happening in the first place.

“Cassian said you’d been holed up in here night and day since we got back […] and – I had nothing else to do.”

I fucking hate reading this book, you guys. It’s like someone tore all the subplots out of The Lord of the Rings and The Host and shuffled up the pages and said it was the sequel to sexy Beauty and the Beast.

I assume this is what the editor did when they got a draft of this book, and then Sarah J Maas misunderstood it to be a suggestion.

We learn that Amren doesn’t give a shit about the blood ruby that Tarquin sent to symbolize the bounty he put on her head, which is the most the reader has probably ever been able to relate to Amren up until this point.

She was using her blood ruby as a paperweight.
“Rhys convinced you not to destroy Adriata for the blood ruby?” […]
“He did no such thing. That convinced me not to destroy Adriata.” She pointed to her dresser.
Sprawled across the top like a snake lay a familiar necklace of diamonds and rubies. I’d seen it before – in Tarquin’s trove. […] “Varian sent it to me. To soften Tarquin’s declaration of our blood feud.”

I don’t even remember who that is or why they would do this.

The chapter mostly comprises of “weeks of waiting” where Cassian trains Feyre on combat with swords and Rhys teaches her who all the High Lords are (because apparently this is finally the time to do that) and what their courts’ politics and histories are. This is thankfully NOT infodumped, which is fascinating because it seems sort of important but apparently we finally found where Sarah J Maas draws the line at what’s too boring even for her to spend time infodumping.

Then Feyre asks Rhys if he always wanted to be a High Lord and he says he wanted “to be a different sort of High Lord”. None of this is new information. I have no idea why we had to have another scene about it.

Then we learn that the mortal queens finally agreed to a meeting with Rhysand and Feyre at her human family’s estate, and there’s a plot twist where they unexpectedly winnow (teleport) straight into her dining room.

This was a whole chapter of this book for some reason.

A Court of Mist and Fury: Chapter 40

Feyre assesses the mortal, human queens, of varying ages and ethnicities. They comment on the uniqueness of Feyre, a mortal turned immortal now “standing beside a High Lord at the place of honor” and on Morrigan, whom they address as “the Morrigan from the War”, which is a bit of information way too conveniently dropped in here out of nowhere to not be important in the near future.

Rhys bowed his head slightly […] “We are grateful you accepted our invitation.” He lifted a brow. “Where is the sixth?”
The ancient queen […] merely said, “She is unwell, and could not make the journey.”

Sorry, couldn’t resist

The queens tell them they have an hour of their time and get down to business, which is awesome. Maybe what ACOMAF has been missing is mortal characters who want to see the story actually progress sometime before they die.

I swallowed as I inched forward on my seat. “War is coming. We called you here to warn you – and to beg a boon.” […]
“We know war is coming,” the oldest said, her voice like crackling leaves. “We have been preparing for it for many years.” […]
“The humans in this territory seem unaware of the larger threat. We’ve seen no signs of preparation.” […]
“This territory,” the golden one explained coolly, “is a slip of land compared to the vastness of the continent. It is not in our interests to defend it. […] War is war.” […]
I rasped, “There are good people here.”
The golden queen sweetly parried with, “Then let the High Fae of Prythian defend them.”

Feyre’s sister Nesta joins the argument at this point, criticizing their uncaring decision and wondering how the human queens could even deign to let a race they hate so much decide to defend their people or not. The human queens argue that the immortals should “defend against a threat of their own making” and point out “the lives [the faeries] have taken during your long, hideous existence”. They also make personal attacks at Rhysand’s reputation. Dang, it’s almost like making your international relations strategy “everyone must hate us… for the greater good, oh, woe, for this is our burden to bear” is making diplomacy difficult or something.

The argument turns to the human queens’ half of the Book of Breathings, which Feyre’s argument for is straight up just “Please”. No, seriously, I’m not kidding.

“If you will not send forces here to defend your people, then the artifact we requested-”
“Our half of the Book, child, […] does not leave our sacred palace.” […]
“Please,” was all I said.
Silence again.
“Please,” I repeated.

Wow, “please” isn’t working? Shit, how will they ever reconcile their differences if that argument didn’t work?

HOW ABOUT AN INFODUMP?

Mor looked at each and every one of those queens in the eye as she said, “I am the Morrigan. You know me. What I am.”

Aw damn, good thing the reader learned this a few pages ago! Otherwise this would be weird and abrupt.

“You know that my gift is truth. So you will hear my words now, and know them as truth […] I fought side by side with Miryam in the War”

“[I] fought beside her as Jurian’s ambition and bloodlust drove him mad, and drove them apart. Drove him to torture Clythia to death, then battle Amarantha until his own.”

“I marched back into the Black Land with Miryam to free the slaves left in that burning sand, the slavery she had herself escaped.”

We’re fucking nowhere near done with this convincing argument about brand new information the reader has almost no context for.

“Miryam was my friend, as Feyre is now. And your ancestors, those queens who signed that Treaty […] I see nothing of those women in you. […] You laugh at the idea of peace? That we can have it between our peoples? […] There is an island in a forgotten, stormy part of the sea. […] And on that island, Miryam and Drakon still live. With their children. With both of their peoples. Fae and human and those in between. Side by side. For five hundred years, they have prospered on that island, letting the world believe them dead-”
“Mor,” Rhys said – a quiet reprimand.

"Oh my god! Who the hell cares?"

Whatever the hell any of that was somehow results in the queens saying that they want proof that Rhysand’s interests are really for peace before they consider handing over their half of the Book of Breathings, and Rhysand angrily agreeing. I guess the plot progressed? Did something happen? Maybe if I distill this conversation to the key points, I can understand what happened.

Rhysand: Feyre, my most trusted, powerful, and valuable ally. I leave it to you to convince the mortal queens that their most valuable artifact – which they know we could use to kill them all or worse – should be given to me, Rhysand, who has spent my entire adult life making the rest of the world think I’m evil.
Feyre: 
Can we have the book?
Human Queens: No.
Feyre: Well, I’m out of ideas.
Human Queens: Furthermore, we’re faerie-racist.
Morrigan: Oh yeah? Well, would you be surprised to hear that [lots of proper nouns that have appeared either two or three times or not at all in the story up until this point].
Human Queens: Interesting. We will reconsider our prejudices and mistrust of your people if you can prove that.
Person Reading ACOMAFWhat.
Tamlin: Am I still a character? (throws a table at a wall)

Nope, if anything, now I’m more confused.

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20 comments

  1. Sarah Reply

    Ah yes, “Please,” the diplomat’s old reliable. Kinda bummed you didn’t do a “but what if other ‘political’ dramas were written this way?” this time; every part of this nonsensical conversation is begging for it. Great post anyway 🙂

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      @Matt – bonus post where you give the people what they want.

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  2. Andreas Reply

    “Varian sent it to me. To soften Tarquin’s declaration of our blood feud.”

    Äh – what? “I’m really sorry that we are coming to kill you, so here have some bling, please no hard feelings.” I can’t remember if one of you guys ever mentioned Varian before and if he (I assume) did anthing interesting, but I guess the bling means that he is Amrens love interest … but, hey, it’s still better than the calendar girl romance 🙂

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      I definitely didn’t mention him because he was mentioned a couple times when they were at the Summer Court, and after finishing the book I still think he held 0 importance. He was a member of Tarquin’s posse and he followed Amren around a lot. It was unclear if he was a romantic interest or just trying to make sure she didn’t kill anyone OR BOTH?

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      I can’t lie. Varian was definitely a character introduced when we met all of Tarquin’s aides and friends and I straight up said “I’m not going to bother summarizing who all of these unimportant minor characters are”. If I can’t tell Rhysand’s friends apart, like hell I’m gonna even try to remember Tarquin’s friends.

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        Tamlin: BUT CAN YOU REMEMBER MY FRIENDS? throws table across the room

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          • Krista B Reply

            Lucien might be the best character in the series! Other than his god damned mate.

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          • Krista B Reply

            Also, I could remember Varian during this book, and I did think he and Amren were a hookup. However, he shows up in the next book and I was so confused about who he was. I seriously could not remember at all.

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  3. 22aer22 Reply

    Oh my god that conversation at the end. Please can you/we start recapping most of the book’s dialogue this way because it just so perfectly highlights how nonsensical it all is. And Tamlin coming in to throw a table at the wall is in-character AF.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Minor Character: [something mildly insulting]
      Feyre: [unclear sentence that was apparently supposed to be a comeback]
      Rhysand: Aw shit yeah! Fuck ’em up, Feyre!

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        Rhysand: Feyre, do you want to sleep with [insert character name]
        Feyre: Yep. Do you want to sleep with [insert other character’s name]
        Reader, apparently: It’s getting hot in here.

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        • 22aer22 Reply

          Also will be applying “Fuck ’em up, Feyre” to my posts ASAP

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  4. Rebecca Reply

    “I assume this is what the editor did when they got a draft of this book, and then Sarah J Maas misunderstood it to be a suggestion.”

    I am DYING. This is exactly how I feel about this book.

    And the nonsensical conversations are completely out of control. At this point I really stopped paying attention to the plot and started plowing through so I could finish it. I think if I’d had a paperback copy I would have thrown it into a dumpster that I wished was on fire.

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    • Krista B Reply

      Hahaha. That’s how I was, but I was still holding out for the mountain moving sex! Actually, I just remembered that I got so frustrated that I just Googled the sex scene and read it because SJM takes so long to get there. If only I knew that I shouldn’t bother reading (listening) after that.

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      • Rebecca Reply

        I think my favorite thing about this series is how INCREDIBLY long the sex scenes get. So the very first one with Tamlin was actually really good–so much was implied and it was romantic and stuff. Then we get to the second book, and the sex scenes are like three times as long. Then the third book, and that first sex scene between Rhys and Feyre was so long I skipped it, and it took me five minutes JUST TO FLIP THROUGH THE PAGES. Like, we get it, they fucked and it was good. Christ.

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        • Krista B Reply

          This is a good point. The sex scenes are silly in this book, but just dull and bad in the next book. I hadn’t considered that the length of the scene might be part of the problem.

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  5. Cara Reply

    I have never been more confused about a cast of characters. Was I supposed to know that Mor was short for Morrigan?

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  6. Pingback: A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 45: 10 Things I Hate About Rhysand - Bad Books, Good Times

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